PODAS Photography Workshops

Phase One Digital Artist Series Blog – News & Updates


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Parting is such sweet sorrow

Well… our last day in Scotland as a group was met with the worst of the worst weather.  The forecast was for wind and rain but the mention of “gale” in regard to the wind put us off a bit for any mountainside adventures.  It would of course be heartbreaking to see a camera take a tumble off a tripod in Gale Force winds, but even more so we had to think of everyone’s safety.  So, it was decided by our enlightened leaders that we would indeed spend the day buried in our laptops and sip hot coffee from the comfort of our meeting room.

The morning began early enough with the wind howling outside the window.  Joe Cornish started us off with an incredibly enthralling presentation of his work and attitude towards approaching photography.  It was just the inspiration everyone needed before burying their heads in their computers to start editing their photos from the week.  With a little help from Steve Gosling and Kevin, the photo’s steadily emerged and the results were quite impressive.

When everyones attention span began to wain and our stomachs started to grumble we sat down for slow and steady lunch at the Hotel.  A welcome change from our standard pack lunches on the road.  A hot bowl of soup and warm sandwich were just what everyone needed.

Well fed and well rested, Steve Gosling took the helm of our classroom and walked us through his visions for photography.  Focusing heavily on emotion and reflection, Steve’s images and summations from various artists quotes really lit the fire once more for our guests and after wrapping up a few hours later we were all back to image editing with new perspectives and editing approaches in our toolbox.  Once again, Joe, Steve and Kevin lent a hand to help focus everyone’s vision… and that’s when the tables were turned.

Since we had the time and still had the enthusiasm, we ended the evening before our last dinner with a bit of a Critique.  Each participant provided two of their best files, in their RAW state, to the instructors.  The panel of Joe, Steve and Kevin set to work in front of the class sharing their approach to editing and drawing out the heart behind each image.  It was quite the eye opening experience for everyone as each of our instructors offered their own unique perspective.  Whether the files were “Raberized” by Kevin, “Gossled” by Steve, or coaxed under the discerning method of Mr. Cornish (Cornished?), the results were absolutely stunning.

With the group satisfied with all they’d learned and their artistic education quota filled, we thought it best to open a few bottles of wine and sit down for an eventful dinner.  And boy was it eventful!

Our fearless leaders, in the true nature of PODAS, decided to have a bit of fun and don some rather unique head gear for dinner.  Perhaps they had a few too many drams but regardless of the impulses source, we all had a good laugh and filled our phones with what will likely be some entertaining contact profile pictures down the road.  But the night didn’t end there, as Kevin has gone on and on this trip about his search for a Scottish fairy in the Isle of Skye, Steve took it upon himself to ensure he didn’t leave disappointed.  With a little sweet talking from the staff, Steve was able to convince our server to give Kevin his meal dressed as what else but a fairy!  She certainly was a good sport!

With the antics out of the way, the Camera equipment hesitantly returned, and the bar bill growing we all decided to say farewell.  A healthy nights sleep was what everyone needed after such an eventful trip before we all hit the road in the morning to catch our flights in Inverness.

Below are a few more highlights from the fun-filled trip and until next time, thanks for following along.

We hope you can join our next PODAS event!


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Day Four – Be Careful what you wish for….

Well, after three days of slogging it through the rain and wind, wishing all the while we had bright, warm, sunny skies, we finally got one.  And as a result, all we wanted was to have a cloud or two in the sky.  Oh well.

We headed out early today after breakfast (Pancakes again!) and just took a quick trip down the road to check for some Panorama’s of the Cuilin mountains at Silgachan.  Since it was the first time that we could actually see the mountains in their entirety it seemed important to spend some time trying to get them properly photographed.  The light, while beautiful, was quite intense so we fought through it with as many ND filters as we could find.  With the sky showing no signs of a passing cloud, we decided to hit the road west.

We headed to the furthest western point on Skye and settled, appropriately, in Neist for a few hours of Cliffside photography and lunch.  Typically this point has a mean reputation of harsh weather and vicious winds, but today it was as calm and sunny as any oceanside getaway.  We took our time and made sure the Lighthouse was captured from every conceivable angle.

As the Sun began to show signs of its decent we packed up the vans and headed towards Glen Brittle for some evening light on the Fairy Pools.  It was a long hike late in the day and sadly, not everyone decided to make the full trek into the ravine.  There were plenty of smaller waterfalls and mountain vistas along the way so everyone came away happy, but those of us that hiked all the way in were treated with some beautiful shots of the falls and small gorges.  Quite remarkable.

As you can see from the pictures, Steve and Joe were on hand to help make sure we all got the most of the locations.  And clearly some of us (Bill mostly) were quite dedicated and went to any length to get the shot!

We’ve got plenty of Class Time tomorrow to finally edit all of these masterpieces, as well as get an in-depth review from Steve Gosling and Joe Cornish about how our work measures up.  A well needed day to sip coffee and sit behind our computers is entirely welcome.


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Day Three – OMG, we got some sunshine!!!

Well… the day started with the rain pelting the hotel windows so we were less then enthusiastic about putting on the barely dried rain gear and heading out.  We took a rather lengthy breakfast (the hotel has Pancakes!!!) and then Mr. Cornish entertained us with the start of an inspiring presentation.  Just as we were enthralled with his images, the weather broke and we could see the sun so we headed out for the day to make the most of it.

Our first location had us head southeast through the weather we were hoping to avoid, but just as we had given up on our enthusiastic retreat from the comfort of the hotel the rain let up and the sun shined through.

We had nearly two hours of sun and clouds at Cill Chriosd where there are some rather impressive ruins of an old church yard.  Not to mention the shallow Loch just down the road.  After a quick lunch in our impromptu parking lot, we headed further down the road to Elgol where we braved a rather persistent light rain and held out until sunset.  Hiking the slippery and rocky shore was well worth the effort as the rain subsided and provided quite an impressive rainbow. The sunset certainly didn’t disappoint and we even made some friends with the local fisherman and our resident Russian, Anton, treated us to a dozen rock crabs for tomorrows dinner… quite a full day and as always, a great photographic adventure.


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Day Two… Better weather and plenty of driving

Today took us from the scenic backdrop of the Cuillins a Sligachan Bridge to the picturesque Castle at Eilean Donan.  As one would suspect we had plenty of mixed weather, from heavy rain to the bright and blue skies (but only for just a bit).   The bulk of the day was spent in the rather dreary drizzle of constant sprinkles but we made due and found plenty of opportunities for beautiful images that really  took our mind off of the weather. A brief stopover at a roadside waterfall for a lunch break gave us (or more accurately Anton) time to relax and be a bit silly while we watched the weather and planned our next location. But it wasn’t all rain and tomfoolery, we found some beautiful light in Isle Ornsay that broke just in time to give us some fantastic displays of the Lighthouse and local boat wrecks… just fantastic. We we’re shooting at Eilean Donan at Lock Duich well after dark, which wasn’t that bad because it was only 6 o’clock.  Then it was back to the Hotel for dinner and a few well deserved beer while we all crowd around the Capture One all-stars to learn a few tricks. With luck we’ll be back tomorrow with another update. 


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PODAS Scotland… weathering the storm!

We’re off and running!

PODAS is happy to be back in the swing of things with some of the regular crew as well as the new addition, Joe Cornish.  Joe is proving to be an excellent addition to our typical team of misfits.

We’ve started off with great images.  Despite the constant barrage of wind and rain we managed to put in a 3 hour hike in the Isle of Skye today (though some opted to stay close to the Vans).  The Sun managed to show up for a brief appearance and we certainly took advantage, the Phase One systems held up great against the conditions and the images are great proof of their versatility.

Tomorrow we’re off to the mountains in the south-west, and we’ll be making the most of it in our limited daylight hours here in the frigid northern light of Autumn.

Check in with us tomorrow… if time allows we’ll be sure to fill you in with some more details!